It’s That Time Again

taxesI still keep waiting for the ball to drop, but I don’t think it’s coming this year. For the first time since I hit the road, my taxes were, well, almost easy. Maybe it only seems easier because of the practice and accumulated knowledge of having done it for several years now. Either way, I approve of this development.

As always I used TurboTax to do the deed, but it only took 4.25 hours instead of the 7 hours last year. Two of those hours were for bookkeeping for the blog, which is technically a business no matter how much fun, and the other two and a quarter hours were for actually inputting info on TurboTax.

My tax situation was simpler in 2015. I only worked in states without income tax so I only had to file Federal (which also saved me money on filing costs), and I only had to file for one “business” instead of two – in 2014 I worked as an independent contractor at a renaissance festival, which required me to start a second reported business of Acting to the IRS.

I did have one extra thing to deal with this year that didn’t exist last year, my Affordable Care Act health insurance through the Marketplace. Let me try to explain how this works, for those of you pre-retirement folks thinking of hitting the road.

When you sign up for insurance through the Marketplace, you may qualify for subsidies from the government on your monthly premium depending on what your estimated income is going to be for the calendar year. For 2015, that income level was $46,680 or less for a single person.

Then at the end of the year, the government looks at how much money you actually made versus how much you paid for your health insurance, and adjusts accordingly. If you guessed too low, you end up owing the government for credits you shouldn’t have gotten and pay more in taxes. It was the opposite for me, I guessed high and should have received a higher subsidy so I got some money back.

Total, I owed $386 in taxes this year, which wasn’t bad. I take zero tax exemptions on my seasonal jobs intentionally to offset the fact that nothing is deducted from my writing income, but this year my writing income was high enough that I still ended up owing some. Now it’s done and I won’t have to worry about it for another year.

  • For last year’s post on taxes, click here.
  • For more about how Marketplace health insurance works for a full-time RVer, click here.
  • If you’d like to see my cost of living and income report for each year I’ve been on the road, click here (I do need to update it now that I have the official numbers from the IRS for 2015).

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